Linear earthwork 230m south west of Covers Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017523

Date first listed: 16-Nov-1961

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Linear earthwork 230m south west of Covers Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 18:02:38.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Sevenoaks (District Authority)

Parish: Westerham

County: Surrey

District: Tandridge (District Authority)

Parish: Limpsfield

County: Surrey

District: Tandridge (District Authority)

Parish: Tatsfield

National Grid Reference: TQ 43225 53586, TQ 43275 53434


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

A small number of substantial and defensible boundary features have been identified as frontier works marking territories in the early medieval period. Up to 50 examples are known with a fairly wide distribution across England, including examples in southern England, East Anglia, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and along the Welsh border. Identified remains extend over distances from as little as 300m up to as much as 240km in the case of Offa's Dyke. They survive in the form of earthworks and as buried features visible as cropmarks or soilmarks on aerial photographs. They appear often to have been constructed across the natural grain of the landscape and, although many examples consisted of a single bank and flanking ditch, to vary considerably in their form and dimensions, even along different stretches of the same boundary, depending upon local topography. Evidence from contemporary documentary sources, excavation and survey suggests that they were constructed in the early medieval period between the fifth and eighth centuries AD. Some were relatively ephemeral, perhaps in use for only a few years during periods of local strife; others, such as Offa's Dyke, constructed between Wales and Mercia, have formed long-lived territorial and/or military boundaries in use for several centuries. As a rare monument type of considerable importance to the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all surviving examples are identified as nationally important.

Although it has suffered some subsequent disturbance, the linear earthwork south west of Covers Farm survives well, and is represented by substantial earthworks over most of its original extent. It can be expected to retain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original use of the monument.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument falls into two areas of protection and includes a NNW-SSE aligned linear earthwork, interpreted as a medieval earthwork constructed across a shallow sandstone valley. The earthwork coincides with the modern Kent-Surrey county boundary and survives for a total length of around 315m. It takes the form of a large bank up to 15m wide and 3m high, flanked to the south west by a ditch up to 9m wide and 1.5m deep. Towards the north west, the ditch has become infilled during past, modern ploughing and survives as a buried feature. The south eastern end of the earthwork is formed by a well-defined, rounded terminal, whilst the original north western end has been destroyed by post-medieval sand extraction. The construction of an embankment for the modern A25 between Limpsfield and Westerham through the central part of the monument has disturbed a short section of the earthwork, and this area is therefore not included in the scheduling. The road construction work and subsequent gas main laying has also partly disturbed the earthwork immediately to the south east of the road, and the original profile of a short section of the adjacent ditch has been altered by the digging of a small stock watering pond. The linear earthwork is thought to have been constructed between the fifth and eighth centuries AD, when it is likely to have formed a strategically important part of the boundary between rival Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It was designed to control the communication route which linked the two territories and ran along the valley bottom on the line of the modern A25. The modern fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 29299

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Clark, A, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in A Cross Valley Dyke on the Surrey-Kent Border, , Vol. 57, (1960), 72-74

End of official listing